The Best Roasted Chicken


This is the best chicken I have ever made. My husband liked this so much that, because I had leftover potatoes, gravy, and cornbread stuffing, I had to make another chicken.

close up view of a Roasted Chicken in a white baking dish
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
6 servings


  • ¼ cup butter, softened

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 lemon, zested and halved

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 whole chicken

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  2. Mix butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a bowl.

  3. Loosen skin on chicken breast; rub butter mixture between skin and breast meat. Press on the skin to distribute evenly. Rub oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper all over; place lemon halves inside cavity. Set in a baking pan.

  4. Roast in the preheated oven, basting after 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Let rest before carving, about 15 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

I like to let the chicken rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or a full day after placing the herb butter under the skin to let the flavors mingle.

Basting really enhances the color and flavor and creates nice drippings for a gravy.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

381 Calories
27g Fat
3g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 381
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 537mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 16mg 79%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 316mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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